I Was Thinking…
As Intentional Parents, we have to be careful about the words we choose when we talk to our adopted and foster kids. We have to be sure we do not add to their already incorrect view of themselves. So many of our children have a hard time defining themselves as someone free of their history. Many of our children believe that they are not good enough, that they are just bad, that they can’t change because it is…"just who they are.”
As Intentional Parents, we know that we have to meet our children right where THEY are. We have to understand that our kids have suffered impacts of trauma. That they deal with deficits every day and in every relationship. Deficits like impulsivity, irrational beliefs about others and the world - about whether others know, understand or even care enough to take care of their needs. Deficits that get in the way of making good choices, especially within the family unit.
Instead of using words like stealing and lying, we need to be intentional about how we talk to and about our children. The reality is that our children don’t make the choices they do to be defiant. They are typically reacting to life with the tools they have. Tools that include loss, grief, mistrust, unmet needs, missed development, impacted brain development and more. Let’s teach them about why they do what they do. Let’s give them tools they can use to work “around” their deficits. Let’s show them what WE believe they can do and who they are. Let’s offer them another explanation for their struggles…one that doesn't add to the negative misbeliefs they already have. One that is positive and hopeful!